DEGW Foundation Lecture

Hosted by the School of the Built Environment

Date and time: Wednesday 10 October 2018, 18.30 – 20.00 (doors open at 18.00)

Location: G01, Building LO22, London Road campus

The event is free to attend, however, we recommend booking early as places are limited.

Please email to book a place.

Speakers: Nicola Gillen (Director and Global Practice Leader, Strategy Plus at AECOM) and Andrew Laing PhD (Principal of Andrew Laing Consulting LLC and Visiting Lecturer at Princeton University, School of Architecture) 

Work and the future office – Nicola Gillen

Nicola is the European Practice Lead for Strategy Plus at AECOM. She also leads the Pharmaceutical, Technology, FMCG and Learning Sectors for Strategy Plus in the UK. Strategy services include; Strategic Briefing, Workplace Strategy, Research, Concept Design and Change Management. Nicola joined AECOM (legacy DEGW) in 1998 as a strategic consultant. Now based in London, Nicola has also worked in the New York office of DEGW. Recent publications she has authored/co-authored include Technology, Media and Communications, written for the BCO, and Productivity: A Homemade Recipe?, a white paper published by AECOM.

Drawing from the forthcoming RIBA book ‘Future Office: Next-generation workplace design’, in this lecture lead author Nicola Gillen will explore disruptors in the world of work, design process and practice to look at how and where we will work in the future.

Work and the city: directions for change – Andrew Laing

Andrew Laing, PhD. is a consultant and researcher in workplace strategy, design and urbanism. He was the global practice leader for the Strategy Plus practice at AECOM (formerly DEGW). Laing set up the DEGW practice in New York in 1998, having worked with DEGW in London since 1989. He has written many articles on workplace design and authored New Environments for Working (1997) with DEGW founder and Princeton graduate Francis Duffy, and was the co-author of The Responsible Workplace (1993). Laing’s clients have included many organizations interested in workplace innovation and information technology, such as Accenture, Google, Microsoft, Nike, and the United Nations. His interests span the changing worlds of work, technology and the design of places at multiple scales from the workplace to the urban. Much of his work has focused on the implications of new ways of working for the design of buildings, the nature of place, sustainability, and the city. He is interested in exploring the impact of information technology on the design of places and the city.

In this lecture, Andrew Laing will explore the history of ideas about work, technology and the city, from DEGW’s pioneering research on intelligent buildings, the distributed workplace, and Frank Duffy’s seminal book Work and the City, and look at the emerging directions of change in work, technology and the city. How is the thinking on technology and cities altering our ways of understanding places? What are the implications for new ways of programming, designing and using the city?

The DEGW archive will be available to view before the lecture in the Museum of English Rural Life (opening times for exhibition 17.00-18.30).


Pint of Science: Senses, Cyborgs, and Mind Control

Hack the Senses, Cyborgs, and Mind Control!

Can we hack the brain and link it with technology to advance mankind? These talks will see Karl Sanz Martinez explain his work on hacking the senses, to expand and augment the human brain,  and  Dr Ioannis Dimitrios Zoulias will introduce brain computer interfaces for controlling the human body. If you want to learn about the research needed for cyborgs and super humans, this is the talk for you. Suitable for all audiences – no science knowledge needed.

To see the full details of the event or to book tickets, click here.

This event takes place at the Three Guineas in a self-contained cellar bar, with a separate entrance from the main bar.


Closing the loop between technology and people

By Inge Lasser, Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics, University of Reading

Professor Doug Saddy’s lecture entitled “Augmented Humans: mind and machine” changed the way I think about myself and about the role that brain science will play in the progression of society. As an administrative manager at the Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN), of which Doug Saddy is the Director, I speak to brain scientists every day. I hear them talk about data, methodology, analytics, responses, levels, and everything that matters for doing fundamental research. Like all scientists, the members of the CINN rejoice when a new study is funded or a paper has been accepted. What Saddy’s presentation gave me is a hugely fascinating view of the “bigger picture” in cognitive neuroscience.

Listen to Saddy and you will learn that you extend into the environment beyond your physical self. In other words, we are all incessantly generating not only acoustic signals, but also electrical, magnetic and biochemical information, voluntarily and involuntarily. Vice versa, our environment extends into us. Humans constantly leak and absorb information. This leads to them, you and me, being in a constant mode of change.

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